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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:38 pm
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Year and Trim: 2002 Buick LeSabre
Well the 17yr old beast failed to start last night for the first time in its life. It was outside in -25 and whatever the windchill was in Chicago area. I was still surprised... should have started it once again earlier when it was running. Battery cranked fine but I could tell the oil was like mud glue. Got the battery inside just to preserve charge. I will try again tomorrow when the temp is -1...the oil should only be like glue less the mud.Might do an oil change and put in some nice warm oil...poor old girl. Is it true that MN hit -60? dang... Chicago/IL winters have nothing on MN!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:01 am 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
My car was indicating 25 below yesterday in the early morning. It was not thrilled to start. Easily did 2-3 times as many cranks as I’ve ever heard before and the exhaust smelled super funky. Starter sounded like it got stuck in the fly wheel or something too.

Definitely the coldest my car has ever seen, I let her run for like 10 minutes before driving it.

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"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 190k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 63k miles
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:38 pm
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Year and Trim: 2002 Buick LeSabre
When it warmed up Friday pulled the front plugs and they were drenched in gas. Let it set until Sat. put back the battery and front plugs. Still no go. Did WOT to cut the injection and cranked until the battery was almost gone. It finally starting popping and eventually started with a load of black dust. Ok for now, but something still not quite right... warm starts right up no cranks, but cold starts cranking long compared to before. Suspecting fuels delivery issues. Will do some pressure leak tests when the weather gets better. Probably time to feed RockAuto some $$.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:48 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 11:21 pm
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Location: Lone Star State
Year and Trim: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
You should think about moving farther south or putting engine block heaters in you cars. When we lived up there, dad used an old electric blanket. - BC

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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport ..... 1992 Bonneville SSE 1SB 170 HP L27 4T60E retired/sold to MattStrike ..... 2005 Bonneville SE 1SC 205 HP L36 4T65E - retired/salvage yard ..... 2013 Cadillac CTS 1SD 270 HP LF1 6L50 - SOLD ..... PBCF user 2321


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:11 pm
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Year and Trim: 2004 GXP, 2008 STS, 2008 DTS
I've only ever had one time when a Bonneville (or pretty much any of my other cars) didn't start because of the cold. My 2002 SE had been parked for a week and the day I went to fire it up, it was about -40C/-40F. It had not been plugged in. With a little help from a boost it did run, but there was a fuel smell from the engine. I suspect the seals were so cold that some were leaking. Once it ran and warmed up a little, I never had that odour problem again. Of course I was working in the middle of almost nowhere at the time, seven hours away from home.

The reason I plug my cars in is to make it a little easier on the engine. In places I can't, I've otherwise never had one of my GM's fail to start.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4493
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
Extreme cold weather puts a lot of strain on everything in the system - especially the battery. If your battery is more than a few years old, or one of the el-cheapo specials, it simply won't put out the same amount of CCA, which in turn drops the voltage while cranking.

My car battery is admittedly a few years older than old. About 7 years or so. It was coping with the normal winter cold just fine. When it got down to -15 over here, even with it sitting on the charger all night and registering 100%, it couldn't produce enough amps to crank and the voltage while cranking was below 5v. I ended up using a spare battery, which was also cold, tied in with the jumper cables to get enough current to turn the starter but it still wouldn't start - only sputter. Cranking voltage was hovering just under 7v with two batteries... Barely enough to fire the fuel injectors and get good fuel pressure out of the fuel pump.

Brought the battery inside, warmed it up and charged it back to 100%. Battery temperature was around 35 and guess what? It was able to hold 9v while cranking and the car started in -10 weather. I put a battery warmer on it overnight and the next morning at -4 it cranked and started like it does in the summer.

Weak ignition systems are the close second for cold weather no-start. A weak coil won't be able to produce enough voltage to jump the gap (which has more air resistance in cold weather).

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Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:38 pm
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Year and Trim: 2002 Buick LeSabre
Might just get a good oil pan toaster...until I can move south, far south. Cold / salt kills the body more than the motor.
Battery inside and fully charged when subzero, never have battery issues, they get traded after 5yrs. or less.
Yep and this motor, (Bling or beater is not withstanding, the type of car is really irrelevant. All cars are really just the motor and set of tires to get from a to b. And the 3800 is/was one good motor!) has always started always outside with no garage, subzero and usually setting 12hrs- 48 hrs in it.... except this one time since I owned it.
Well who really makes all the good batteries anymore? All Chinese innards now?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:45 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
My most recent replacement was a Duracell battery in SSEi spec.

When I went camping with my friends my car was literally the lighting for the campground and charged all our phones with its various 12 volt ports. After 2 days it still started up no problem. Granted temps were in the 60s and 70s but I was expecting it to need a jump.

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"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 190k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 63k miles
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:38 pm
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Year and Trim: 2002 Buick LeSabre
Hey Carl,
Where do you get Duracell auto batteries in Chicagoland?? Didn't know they even made them. I'll give them a try, gave up on Interstates.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:04 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
I got it from a Batteries Plus which is on Harlem and North Avenue in the city.

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"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 190k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 63k miles
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:38 pm
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Year and Trim: 2002 Buick LeSabre
Nice. Thanks again.


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